Terrorism has no commonly accepted definition, but to me, terrorism concisely is a source of gaining approach to the desired political, personal or national goals by using violent and illegal techniques.
Terrorism, the term gained its fame during the French Revolution of the late 18th century but achieved conventional popularity in the 1970s in news coverages and books when the conflicts were triggered in Northern Ireland, the Basque country, Afghanistan and Palestine. The increased use of suicide attacks during the 1965 Indo-Pak war, The Soviet Union invasion of Afghanistan, followed by the 9/11 terror attack in New York and Washington D.C. in 2001, Number of likewise attacks in Afghanistan, the Taj Hotel attack Mumbai, the recent Pulwama terror attack of Kashmir, the Majid Attack of Christchurch city of New Zealand and number of likewise incidents have conventionalized the term “Terrorism” as an intimidated phenomenon.
The association of terrorism to religion is mainstreamed throughout the globe. Be it any terror, suicide attack, or a bomb blast, it is always misconceived to be a religious practice, indeed terrorism is a generally accepted peril to each and everyone’s life, regardless of any specific terrain, accepted norms, rituals, religion, and customs. Moreover, none of the religions are in favor of any sort of violence in any case.
After the 9/11 terror attack on World trade tower, the hatred of the Americans against Muslims were flared up, people cut off all sort of ties with the Muslims, the whole world stereotyped Islam and Muslims in favor of the attack, which resulted in the concerted US, NATO invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 considering it a retaliation against Usama-bin-Ladin the Chief of Alqaeda for being accused of masterminding the mentioned attack, was sheltering in Pak-Afghan border regions, the attack turned into long-lasting war, still is going on, left lakhs of civilian casualties, and yet to see many more fatalities, in fact the aggrieved people are Muslims.
Following the stated invasion, on December 13, 2003, the USA attacked Iraq, found the predecessor of Iraq Saddam Hussein guilty in crimes against humanity and genocide and was consecutively executed on December 30, 2006, left thousands of Muslims killed.
On November 9, 2008, Taj Hotel in Mumbai was victimized of a terror attack, which left approximately 166 civilians killed, carried out by the Pakistan based terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba, the victims were largely Hindus. Likewise, on November 23, a suicide bomb blast happened inside a Masjid in Army base in Khost Province of Afghanistan claiming 26 killed, 53 others were wounded, ISIS the extremist group took the responsibility. Nevertheless, Afghanistan has been witnessing a number of such savage tragedies including the use of Mother of all bombs (MOB) by the American forces in Nangarhar province of Afghanistan, which impacted a large terrain of the targeted area.
The most recent insurgent attacks, including the deadliest attack on Indian CRPF personnel in Pulwama, Indian administered Kashmir carrying 40 killed, resulted in the Indo-Pak cross border shieling and dogfight across the border. On March 16, 2019, the terror attack on worshipers in a Masjid in the Christchurch city, New Zealand left 50 Muslims killed and 50 more wounded, following the mentioned attack, on March 19, 2019, a 37 years old Turkish man assaulted the central city of Utrecht, the Netherland, left 3 people killed and 3 others seriously wounded.
To infer the above-inscribed cases, it is evident that terrorism has been a menacing threat to the overall humanity regardless of any specific religion, ethnicity, ritual region. Moreover, this practice is used as a means of fulfilling the disguised and concealed political objectives. This phenomenon has become conventional in today’s date, being leveraged even by small political groups to have their goals achieved, specifically when elections are going on, in order to succeed many politicians, terrorize their opponents, this is an instance of terrorism used on a low level.
There are three myths about terrorism according to some researchers;
Terrorism is a threat to an individual or a specific region;
Terrorism in a society is a threat to the whole country, the region and finally to the outright world. Thus, the stated myth is just a misperception among people, each and everyone is prone to this toxic disease.
Zero-tolerance merely to terrorism ignoring the rest of the crucial complications;
Paying attention to terrorism while keeping the other imperative issues aside is not the solution, the other criminal activities must also be taken into consideration and earnest actions to be taken against them.
This issue to be overcome by the battalion;
This myth has been misconceived that battalion to get rid of terrorism. Terrorism is a disease, those get affected by it are patients, hence patients are utterly responsible to fight this disease and demolish it.
However, this deep-seated perception has been indoctrinated in people’s minds by giving it a religious touch which indeed is a political source of approaching to the desired goals, appeared to be tough enough to have people aware of it, but psychologically it is possible to introduce this phenomenon as a violent practice contradicting to religions.
At present, Islam and its followers(Muslims) are associated with militancy and extremism, it is imperative to understand and appreciate the message of Islam in the light of the Holy Quran. It is needless to say that Islam and violence are contradictory to each other.
When a small portion of illiterate misguided and brainwashed Muslims involved in violent activities that indeed are against the teachings of the Qur’an, And cannot represent Islam and all the Muslims.
In the Holy Qur’an, it is mentioned” … The ways of peace…” (Quran: 5:6). It describes reconciliation as the best policy (4:128) and states that God abhors any disturbance of peace (2:205).
This verse is repeated in the Qur’an no less than 114 times. It shows the immense importance that Islam attaches to such values as mercy and compassion. One of God’s names, according to the Qur’an is As-Salaam, which means Peace.
Further, a perusal of the Qur’an shows that the Prophet Muhammad(PBUH) was sent to mankind as mercy (Qur’an: 21:107).
According to Islam, peace is not merely an absence of war, it opens doors to all sort of opportunities that are present in any given scenario it is for the reason that Qur’an says:” …A settlement is best…” (Qur’an 4:128) peace is the rule and war is only an exception. Even in defensive war, we have to analyze its consequences, if they are dubious, Muslims must avoid war. Muslims have to assess the whole situation and adopt a policy of avoidance when war is not certain to achieve a positive result.
In actual fact, the objective of all the Prophets from Adam to Isaiah (Jesus) and Muhammad (May Allah exalt their mention) was only and the same – the implementation of the ideology of monotheism and the ensuring of peace in the World.
Similarly, Christianity emphasizes tranquility and peace, as it says; Romans 5:1 states that the Christian has peace with God through our Lord Jesus. Philippians 4:8-9 is a reminder to meditate on all that is true, but particularly on what is honorable, pure, and lovely in the gospel.
And I will make a covenant of peace with them, an everlasting covenant. I will give them their land and multiply them, and I will put my Temple among them forever. I will make my home among them. I will be their God, and they will be my people (Ezek 37:26-27).
Likewise, Hinduism, Buddhism, and other religions emphasize the installation of peace, as peace is an essential part of Hinduism, guiding towards inner peace and contributing to world peace. The Bhagavad Gita is considered to be one of the significant aspects of the Hindu sacred texts emphasizing both on inner and outer peace, Mahatma Gandhi best exemplifies the Hindu religion’s favor of peace, he freed India from the British imperialism sans violence. Another paragon is the Yoga and Meditation the two peaceful aspects of Hindu religion stressing on the maintenance of calmness.
To get rid of this built-in disease and recognize it as a religion-averse phenomenon, the Religious scholars are utterly responsible to spread awareness from religious perspectives, mainstreaming terrorism as a political means, antipathetic practice to religions and a toxic threat to the overall humanity. secondly, College/University teachers play a vital role to introduce terrorism as everyone’s vulnerability.
Additionally, citizens irrespective of any specific ethnicity. Rituals, race, and religion along with soldiers are equally accountable to chase off this practice.
The writer is Hamayun Khan, currently studying MBA at Punjab Technical University India.